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Robbie Keane: Retirement? No chance, I'll play on until I drop


Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane

ROBBIE Keane has be come the first player from Europe to pick up the MVP award for the top individual player in the MLS.

And the Ireland captain says he has no plans to hang up the boots as he's keen to go on for "another four years" after recent surgery cured a long-running Achilles problem.

The 34-year-old topped the poll in all three sections of voting for the MVP award - there are separate votes from MLS clubs, players and the media - to fend off competition from Obafemi Martins and Bradley Wright-Philips to land the award, the first player from outside of the Americas to land the trophy.

And Keane says his desire is as strong as ever, with talk of retirement a long way away. "It is very simple for me because I love what I do. When you love something, you look forward to waking up," Keane said.

"When you hate something, you're not looking forward to going into work regardless of whether that's football or a nine-to-five job. If you don't love what you do then the battle is gone.

"For me, I wake up every morning and look forward to going to practice. I wake up on the weekend, desperate to play a game.

"I know that I will keep that up as long as I can. For me, it's not about the money, I'd play for free.

"When I'm done playing and I go back to Ireland as a manager or whatever, I'll keep playing in a Sunday league with my mates. That's just the way I am.

"I'm still the same since I walked in the door for that first game. The most important thing to me is to be consistent and to consistently perform well for the team and consistently scoring goals and assisting people. Every year, I've just gotten better and better," added Keane.

"The last couple of years, I've been struggling with the Achilles problems and after the operation, I was rehabbing every day for six weeks before pre-season. It's been a long year, but it's been worth it.

"I had been waking up in the mornings and I could hardly walk and it took me ages to get going in training. But since operation, I feel great.


"Personally, though, I feel great and I know that I have always played with a lot of enthusiasm. The most important thing is that you always feel great when you're performing well.

"If you're scoring goals and helping the team play well, then you'll feel like that, but if you don't, you'll feel crap."

The MVP award has traditionally gone to US-born players and Keane knows he has pulled off an achievement in becoming the first man from Europe to take the trophy. He still has unfinished business this season as LA Galaxy face up to New England Revolution in the MLS final on Sunday, a chance for the Ireland captain to win his third medal since his move to LA.

Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has paid tribute to Keane and the imopact that the Dubliner has made in the US.

"What makes Robbie different was that he bought into our league right away.

"It wasn't a fight, that he played at Tottenham or Liverpool or Italy and thought that 'this is the way that things are supposed to be done'," said Arena.

"He fully accepted what our league is about and the challenges that go along with that and the challenges with our team.

"He's fully bought in since day one and been a great leader and player for us."